Language: Old English
Origin: sceoh


1 adjective
shy1 comparative shyer, superlative shyest
1 nervous and embarrassed about meeting and speaking to other people, especially people you do not know:
He was a quiet, shy man.
shy with
She was very shy with strangers.
a shy smile
As a teenager I was painfully shy (=extremely shy).
shy to do something
He was too shy to come sit by me in class.
go all shy British English (=to suddenly become very shy)
Oh, have you gone all shy, Jenny?

somebody is not shy about (doing) something

used to emphasize that someone is very willing to do something or get involved with something:
John has strong opinions and he's not shy about sharing them.
3 unwilling to do something or get involved in something
be shy about/of (doing) something
Employees are urged not to be shy about reporting incidents of sexual harassment.

be shy (of something)

especially American English to have less than a particular amount of something:
The Democrats are three votes shy of a majority.
Jessica died Monday. She was one week shy of her 13th birthday.
5 used to say that someone does not like something and therefore tries to avoid it:
Although publicity-shy, he recently agreed to be interviewed.
camera-shy, work-shy
6 shy animals get frightened easily and are unwilling to come near people:
shyly adverb:
He grinned shyly.
shyness noun [uncountable]
I overcame my shyness.

➔ fight shy of (doing) something

at fight1 (22)

; ➔ once bitten, twice shy

at bite1 (14)
similar words: timid, self-conscious, reserved, withdrawn, introverted

Dictionary results for "shy"
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